Boxer Says Bunning Objection to Transportation Extension Is Costing Jobs
March 1, 2010
Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today wrote to Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) noting the shutdown of transportation projects in California and 16 other states, asking Sen. Bunning to "stop this gamesmanship and remove your objection to the extension of the transportation authorization and unemployment benefits."
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that as a consequence of Sen. Bunning's decision to block key legislation that would have extended several critical priorities for middle class families, DOT furloughed without pay nearly 2,000 federal transportation workers. The furloughs have forced work to halt on construction projects in 17 states.
Full text of Senator Boxer's letter to Senator Bunning is below.
March 1, 2010
Senator Jim Bunning
316 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Bunning:
I want to make sure you are aware that as a result of your objections to a short-term extension of unemployment insurance, COBRA, and other help for people who have lost their jobs, not only are 1 million people - including 201,000 Californians - losing their unemployment benefits, but the Department of Transportation has now furloughed without pay nearly 2,000 workers.
This is completely unacceptable. It is hurting people in your state, in my state and all across the country.
As a consequence of the furloughs, federal inspectors will be removed from critical construction projects across the nation, and work is already shutting down. I am attaching the Department of Transportation's list of some of the affected projects, which includes critical construction work in 17 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
We can't have an economic recovery if people can't make ends meet and if transportation projects grind to a halt. I am writing to you as Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee to ask you to stop this gamesmanship and remove your objection to the extension of the transportation authorization and unemployment benefits.